Fourth Sunday of Easter

Fourth Sunday of Easter

The Good Shepherd.

This week we focus on Jesus as the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep, and they listen to his voice. One element of this beautiful image is that Jesus takes care of us and leads us to springs of living water.

An image which is so familiar is always worth spending time with, because there is a depth to the image that helps us to go back to it regularly and allow the Lord to point out elements we haven’t perhaps recognised before. Part of the reason the shepherds carried a crook was to be used as a defensive weapon against those who would steal the sheep, whether wild animals or criminals. What do you need to be defended from?

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

 

Sunday.

Jesus said, ‘The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. (John 10:27)

  • Reflect on the fact that you belong to the Lord.
  • How and when do you listen to the voice of the shepherd?
  • How does it feel that the Lord knows you through and through?
  • Listen to the voice of the shepherd calling your name.

 

Monday.

I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me. (John 10:28)

  • Reflect on the gift of eternal life.
  • How does it feel to know you can never be stolen away from the Lord?
  • Have you experienced the Lord finding you when you thought you were lost?
  • Listen to the voice of the shepherd giving you eternal life.

 

Tuesday. 

I, John, saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language. They were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. (Apocalypse 7:9)

  • Picture the scene – see yourself amongst the people.
  • What does the throne and the lamb look like?
  • Who else can you see standing there?
  • Listen to the voice of the shepherd as he speaks of his love for you.

 

Wednesday.

The Lamb who is at the throne will be their shepherd and will lead them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. (Apocalypse 7:17)

  • Reflect on the shepherd being a lamb.
  • What tears need to be wiped away for your eyes?
  • What do you thirst for?
  • Listen to the voice of the shepherd as he speaks his words of comfort.

 

Thursday.

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing for joy. (Psalm 99:1)

  • What do you cry out with joy for?
  • What brings you gladness serving the Lord?
  • What makes you sing for joy?
  • Listen to the voice of the shepherd who rejoices over you.

 

Friday

Indeed, how good is the Lord, eternal his merciful love. He is faithful from age to age. (Psalm 99:5)

  • Reflect on the goodness the Lord has shown you.
  • Reflect on the merciful love the Lord has shown you.
  • Reflect on the faithfulness the Lord has shown you.
  • Listen to the voice of the shepherd as he speaks of his merciful love.

 

Saturday

‘I have made you a light for the nations, so that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.’ It made the pagans very happy to hear this and they thanked the Lord for his message; all who were destined for eternal life become believers.  (Acts 13:47-48)

  • Reflect on the Lord as light for the nations.
  • How did the message of light to come into your life?
  • Who have you shared the light with?
  • Listen to the voice of the shepherd who speaks of your salvation.
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